My Position on Scottsdale Issues
I remain firm in my opposition to any light rail in Scottsdale. Rail is considered a dinosaur in today's modern transit systems with Uber, Lyft and autonomous vehicles the new kids on the block.
Rail will cost $100 million a mile. With Scottsdale Road as the designated light rail corridor, including McDowell as the feeder line, we are looking at about 30 miles of track, or $3 billion dollars. Of that, Scottsdale taxpayers will have to foot the bill for 10%, or $300 million dollars. That doesn't count the loss subsidy. Each year Phoenix residents shell out over $140 million to cover the $184 million operation costs since fares only cover about $40 million.
You can see your property and sales taxes will go up significantly and our downtown will suffer irreparable damage as streets and businesses are torn down to make room.
(By the way, ridership for metro Phoenix in 2015 was 6200 per day. Of the 4.3 million residents in metro Phoenix, that comes to 1 rider for every 700 residents.)
I am proud to have driven the stake through the heart of light rail at our last Transportation Master Plan meeting and it has been removed from future consideration. This will last only as long as a different council doesn't put it back in, which is why your vote is crucial to protecting Scottsdale's Charm and Cache.
Desert Discover Center
I am also opposed to the DDC. The City charter clearly states in article 8 sections 811 that no Preserve parcel over 1 acre can be removed from the Preserve designation without voter approval, yet about 30 so called “visionary leaders” are attempting to go around article 8 and build on over 30 acres. I remain steadfast in my commitment that if the council approves a DDC without public support I will file for a referendum.
The city of Scottsdale currently has an operating budget of about $230 million dollars. Besides that we have a Capital Budget that pays for our infrastructure and replacement like fire stations and parks. With fiscal restraint and conservatism Scottsdale can manage the city with the current taxes we pull in. the problem arises when special interest groups want to use your tax money for their projects. In order to do so, they need to free up those capital funds, and that's when you see the city asking for new bonds. I have fought and will continue to fight any bond election that isn't a legitimate project needed by the city for its residents that we otherwise can't do.
You work hard for your money and when a third of your earnings are taken by taxes you deserve the knowledge that it is being spent wisely and for the welfare of the public, not squandered by special interest groups through council action.
Tourism is the lifeblood of Scottsdale. It is what sets us apart from the rest of the cities in Arizona and is considered one of the top destinations in the world! Tourism put in over 1.4 billion dollars into Scottsdale in 2014! With that kind of tax revenue and our unique and special brand it is imperative we continue to support and encourage tourism through existing events and even creating new ones.
There are those in the council that think tourism is not a sustainable tax source are trying to change our city with high rise apartments and offices, blocking our views and turning Scottsdale into downtown Phoenix. We need to reign in overdevelopment before it destroys our unique cache and makes our tourists go somewhere else. Tourism pays for our infrastructure, parks, trails and lakes as well as clean streets and public safety. Without that 1.4 billion in spending every year, your property tax and sales tax will certainly escalate to replace the loss in revenue.
Let's celebrate tourism and tourists and stop approving detrimental developments that only line developers pockets while destroying our quality of life.
If you have questions on these or other issues please contact me at